As the scenario in Afghanistan continues to be unsure, the Union Home Ministry has mentioned that no Afghan nationwide residing in India will probably be requested to go away the nation with out its approval, in response to officers. The MHA’s choice got here a few fortnight after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan and lots of Afghans arriving in India fearing retribution from that nation’s new rulers.
No Afghan nationwide will probably be requested to go away India by the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) with out prior approval of the house ministry and such instances will probably be referred to the MHA by the FRRO, a house ministry official mentioned. This got here after a lady member of Afghan parliament, Rangina Kargar, was deported from Delhi’s IGI Airport to Istanbul regardless of legitimate papers. The authorities had later apologised to Kargar.
The authorities has already prolonged visas of all classes granted to residents of all international locations, together with Afghanistan, residing in India on “free of charge foundation” till September 30. Many Afghan nationals who came to India before the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan have been staying in India for more than six months now and, in many cases, since the first lockdown was announced in March 2020.
The MHA has decided to extend till September 30 the existing facility of deemed extension of regular visa or e-visa or stay stipulation period, without levy of any overstated penalty, granted to foreign nationals stranded in India due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Such foreign nationals may not be required to submit any application to FRRO concerned for extension of their visas.
Before leaving the country, they may apply for exit permission which would be granted by the FRRO on gratis basis without levy of any overstay penalty. If an extension of visa is required beyond September 30, the foreign national concerned may apply for an extension on the online e-FRRO platform on a payment basis which would be considered by the FRRO subject to eligibility as per the provisions of the visa manual.
According to the visa rules, Afghan nationals should get themselves and their family members registered within 14 days of their arrival with the local police, except those exempted from it. Several Afghan nationals, feeling threatened or facing the fear of persecution at the hands of the Taliban, have expressed their desire to stay in India.
After the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, the MHA had announced the introduction of a new category of visa called e-Emergency X-Misc visa for Afghan nationals. The ministry has also announced that all Afghan nationals henceforth must travel to India only on e-Visa in view of the prevailing situation in Afghanistan.
India has already shut down its missions in Afghanistan and the visas are processed in New Delhi now.
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